STILLWATER – The 2023 Oklahoma State University Athletics Hall of Honor class is set.
David “Buddy” Arndt (wrestling), Justin Blackmon (football), Rickie Fowler (men’s golf), Yolanda Odenyo (soccer) and coach Ann Pitts (women’s golf) join Legends division honoree Shelby Wilson (wrestling) as this year’s honorees.
The group will be officially inducted as part of a ceremony on September 15 in Stillwater.
The selection process began with a screening committee of OSU Athletics coaches and staff members that narrowed the list of eligible candidates to approximately 50. That list was taken to a selection committee of people affiliated with but not employed by OSU Athletics. The selection committee voted for the final honorees.
Arndt, Blackmon, Fowler, Odenyo, Pitts and Wilson join 71 others already inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Honor.
More on each member of the 2023 Oklahoma State University Athletics Hall of Honor class:
David “Buddy” Arndt, Wrestling, 1941-46
Top honors: Three-time NCAA individual champion … Three-time All-American … Three-time NCAA team champion … Outstanding Wrestler at the 1942 NCAA Championships … 1981 inductee to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Additional information: Never lost a match during his Oklahoma State career, posting a 23-0 career mark … Won two NCAA titles before World War II, then flew more than 100 missions as a P-38 fighter pilot during the war before returning to win a third NCAA title … Was the only wrestler to win national collegiate championships on both sides of World War II … As a pilot, he was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters and also collected six Bronze Battle Stars for action in major battles … His dominating path to Outstanding Wrestler honors at the 1942 NCAA Championships looked like this – a pair of 13-3 wins in his first two bouts, followed by a pin in the semifinals and an 18-5 win in the title bout.
Justin Blackmon, Football, 2009-11
Top honors: Two-time Biletnikoff Award winner, two-time unanimous All-American, 2010 FBS leader in receiving yards per game and receiving TD, 2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft
Additional information: Justin Blackmon was unquestionably the best receiver in America in both 2010 and 2011 … Blackmon won the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s top receiver after both his sophomore and junior seasons … He is one of only two players to win the award twice … He was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in both 2010 and 2011 and was the 2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year … Blackmon’s 1,782 receiving yards set an NCAA sophomore record … His 20 touchdown receptions in 2010 were the seventh-most ever recorded … As a junior in 2011, Blackmon was the primary focus of every defense that OSU faced, but he still made 122 catches for 1,522 yards with 18 touchdowns … His 122 receptions set the 13th-highest total in NCAA history … He was named offensive MVP of both the 2010 Alamo Bowl and the 2012 Fiesta Bowl … The No. 5 pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, he had the third-highest single-game receiving total for a rookie in NFL history with seven catches for 236 yards against the Houston Texans.
Rickie Fowler, men’s golf, 2008-09
Top honors: Two-time first team All-American … 2008 Ben Hogan Award and Phil Mickelson Award … 2016 Olympian … Two-time Walker Cup … Three-time Presidents Cup … Four-time Ryder Cup … Six PGA Tour wins … Two European Tour wins.
Additional information: A first-team All-American in both of his seasons in Stillwater … Led the Cowboys to Big 12 team titles in 2008 and 2009 … Won the Phil Mickelson award as the nation’s top freshman and was the first freshman to win the Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s top player … Big 12 individual medalist as a freshman … Had two additional individual victories during his OSU career … 2008 Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year … Internationally, he competed at the 2008 Arnold Palmer Cup and the 2007 and 2009 Walker Cups for the American side … Has nine professional wins worldwide to his credit, including five on the PGA Tour … PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2010 … Four-time member of the United States Ryder Cup squad and a three-time selection to the American Presidents Cup team … Competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio … Has accumulated nearly $41 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.
Yolanda Odenyo, soccer, 2005-08
Top honors: Three-time All-American, two-time first team All-American, two-time Big 12 Player of the Year
Additional information: One of the most decorated players in Oklahoma State soccer history … Three-time All-American and the first All-American in Cowgirl Soccer history … In 2006, Odenyo was named a first-team All-American by both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz Magazine after leading OSU to its highest-ever national ranking (No. 7) and a school-record 17 wins, including the first NCAA Tournament victory in Cowgirl soccer history … 2006 Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Year and the Central Region Player of the Year after recording five goals and eight assists … As a junior in 2007, Odenyo was a second-team All-American by Soccer Buzz after finishing the season with seven goals and three assists … Soccer Buzz also named her one of its 14 player of the year finalists … Odenyo capped her career with the best season ever by a Cowgirl in 2008 … She set OSU single-season records with 16 goals and 37 points, both of which also led the Big 12 … Set a school record by scoring goals in seven consecutive games and was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year … Following her senior season, Odenyo was named an All-American by four different outlets, and was first team on three of those … She was a finalist for two player of the year awards and was one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy, given to the nation’s top collegiate player.
Ann Pitts, women’s golf coach, 1973-2000
Top honors: 15-time conference team champion coach … 2008 inductee into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame … 1995 inductee into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame … Two-time recipient of the NGCA Rolex/Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service and contributions to women’s college golf.
Additional information: Ann Pitts served as head coach for the first 24 years of the Cowgirl Golf program … In just her second season, she led OSU to its first conference title … She went on to lead the Cowgirls to 15 conference championships, 15 NCAA Championship appearances and five AIAW Championship appearances … Overall, Pitts guided Oklahoma State to 56 team wins … Big 12 Coach of the Year following the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. Inducted in 1995 as a member of the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Pitts was selected as the West Region Coach of the Year in 1987, 1989, 1992 and 1999 … In 1981, Pitts was chosen by the NCAA to coach the women’s golf team that traveled to Tokyo, Japan to compete against a collection of Japanese All-Stars in the Yamagata Shield Collegiate Golf Tournament … During her tenure at Oklahoma State, Pitts coached 19 All-Americans, highlighted by first-teamers Val Skinner, Robin Hood, Eva Dahllof, Marnie McGuire, Stephanie Martin and Maria Bodén … She also coached 15 NGCA/WGCA All-American scholars and directed many of her players into the professional ranks.
Shelby Wilson, wrestling, 1957-59
Top honors: Olympic gold medalist … Two-time All-American … Two-time NCAA team champion … 1982 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Additional information: After an injury cut short one season at OSU, he captured two Big Eight titles and twice charged to the national finals-only to suffer disheartening defeats both times … His journey to the 1960 Olympics was also difficult … After an upset loss in the trials, he started the final challenge in the middle of the freestyle ladder … First, he threw the Greco champion to assure a trip to Rome … He then captured the Freestyle ticket by fighting off the challengers below him, and turning the tables on the top-ranked wrestler … And in the shadowed ruins of Rome’s ancient Basilica, Wilson earned the Olympic gold medal … Spent 13 years as a high school and college coach before founding and directing the Stronghold Youth Foundation and becoming and ordained minister.